22 Nov 2019 17:00

Moskalkova proposes creating register of Russians held in foreign prisons

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) - Russia must collect data on its citizens who are abroad and need help, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said.

"Collecting full information on our people at foreign prisons is quite difficult," Moskalkova told journalists on Friday.

In light of this, a register is needed to enable Russians who are in predicament abroad (in pre-trial detention or serving prison sentences), to "send an SOS signal and, through their lawyer, get onto the register, which could be created by the ombudsman or the Foreign Ministry," she said.

Funding for compatriots abroad can only be provided "on a voluntary basis" and such a fund already exists, Moskalkova said.

She additionally said that Maria Butina, who was released from prison in the United States, had accepted her proposal to join the ombudsman's working group for helping compatriots abroad.